What Caused The Neanderthals Unique Morphological Characteristics
While everyone generally recognized that the Neanderthals were human, it was clear that they werent exactly like us in appearance. As Oard says , Neanderthal Man did have a peculiar look about him. How Neanderthals came to have their unique physical characteristics has been a subject of much debate by evolutionists and creationists alike, with no consensus reached on either side.
Early on, Custance , a creationist anthropologist, had suggested that extreme old age would often tend to modify the skull towards the conventional man-ape form. But on this he was ahead of his time.
Since the Neanderthals had lived during the Ice Age, scientists on both sides have assumed that climate could have been a contributing factor in their facial and other characteristics . But rats raised in the cold in controlled laboratory experiments showed some craniofacial changes opposite to those that Neanderthals had apparently it would be necessary to reconsider the climate theory . There were, in any case, other possibilities that presented themselves. An article by a geographer had caused rather a storm of controversy when he suggested that Neanderthals were deformed because of iodine deficiencies in their diet in spite of attempts to refute this idea by the well-known Trinkaus , Dobson did not back down. Another group applied statistical tests to show that it was genetic drift that explained cranial differences between Neanderthals and modern humans .
What Does The Bible Say About Cavemen Or Prehistoric Men
Keeping this in consideration, How did humans evolve from cavemen? Secular scientists believe humans evolved through a progression of creatures from ape to modern man. Young-earth creationists believe God created everything ape and man within the six days of creation. To the former, cavemen are a step to us to the creationist, they are us.
Also asked, What does the Bible say about prehistoric man? The Bible does not use the term caveman or Neanderthals. So, according to the Bible there is no such thing as prehistoric man, in that sense. The Bible gives no indication that Adam and Eve accidentally evolved from lower life forms.
Herein, Are cavemen in the Bible? What about cavemen? What about the Stone Age? Are Cavemen in the Bible? Of course, the word caveman is not found in the Bible and if there is another sub-human species that did exist, it would be one that was not created in the image of God as man was .
In this regard, What does the Bible say about Neanderthals and cavemen? Answer: The Bible does not use the term caveman or Neanderthals. So, according to the Bible there is no such thing as prehistoric man, in that sense.
What Did The Cavemen Use For Shelter
They used caves for shelter and made simple, but effective, tools as they travelled and hunted game. Who Were the Cavemen? The term caveman is often used as a catchall for peoples who lived in an earlier era in human historythe Ice Age.
What does the Bible say about Neanderthals and cavemen?
Answer: The Bible does not use the term caveman or Neanderthals. So, according to the Bible there is no such thing as prehistoric man, in that sense.
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The Spread Of Humans From Babel: Map 3 And Map 4
Map 3: Interesting variations appeared later in the Ice Age, includingNeanderthals, hobbits, and the little-known Denisovans.Map 4: By the end of the Ice Age, people with high foreheads andprotruding chins filled the globe, including the Americas.
While it is difficult to distinguish family resemblances just from bones, some seem pretty clear among the later Ice Age fossils of each region. In European sites we find the first human families with Neanderthal features, while in Africa we find another family variation with high foreheads and protruding chins . Meanwhile in Asia, the fossils generally have the pronounced brow ridges and other features associated with the earlier fossils.
Neanderthals compact body shape would have made them well suited for cold weather, similar to the Inuits of North Americas Arctic regions today. As hunting ranges in Europe were covered in ice, it would have made sense for the Neanderthals to move south into the Middle East, even if it meant displacing other people there. That might explain why Neanderthals are found buried at certain soil levels in caves in Israel, with other people found in layers before and after them.
Interestingly, the human remains at the end the Ice Age display only one variation of the human physique: people with protruding chins and high foreheads like ours. In Europe, these people are known as Cro-Magnon, but the difference between them and us is inconsequential.
A New Kid On The Block
It was the skimpiest bit of evidence: just a tiny piece of a finger bone and two outsized teeth. Michael Shunkov found them in Denisova Cave in the Altai mountains of Southern Siberia, where Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China meet. The cave is named after a hermit called Denis who lived there in the 1700s. Suspicious that the bones might have a story to tell, Shunkov bagged them, labeled them, and sent them off for analysisâexpecting that Svante PÃ¤Ã¤bo would find that they belonged to a Neanderthal. However, when PÃ¤Ã¤boâs equipment started to crank out the results, it didnât exactly match the DNA of the Neanderthals, nor did it match the DNA of modern humans. She was a little girl, but she turned out to be something quite big. PÃ¤Ã¤bo writes,
The nuclear genome of the Denisova finger bone was more closely related to the Neanderthal genome than to the genomes of people living today. In fact, it seemed to be only slightly more different from the Neanderthal genome than the deepest differences one could find among humans living today.
In other words, the Neanderthals had a secret relative.
Knowing that Neanderthals and humans had interbred, Reich and his colleagues looked carefully for Denisovan DNA in the genomes of living humans. They found it in genomes from two populations, one from New Guinea and another from the nearby island of Bougainville. As much as 5 percent of their DNA came from the vanished Denisovans.
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Why Are Creationists Having Difficulty Distinguishing Between Early Apes And Humans
It might seem that it would be obvious whether or not a skull or skeleton is that of a human like us. After all, live humans today are quite easily distinguished from all forms of apes. But without flesh and hair, the skeletal remains are more difficult to identify, as is clear from the foregoing discussion. For a comparison of these two taxons , see Figs. 2, 3, and 4 and Figs. 5 and 6 . The apparent similarities between H. neanderthalensis and H. erectus are striking.
Fig. 3. La Chapelle aux Saints skull, discovered in France in 1908 .
These apes walked upright, not because we share a common ancestor, but because we share a common designer. They must also be viewed as more complex versions of extant apes .
Clearly, bipedality did not necessarily make H. erectus human .
Another noticeable source of confusion about the status of H. erectus is the prominent browridges of both H. erectus and Neanderthal these browridges do admittedly make the skulls look similar, as shown in figs 4 and 6. However, we need to be cautious about this, because there are many fossils that are definitely not human that also have browridges browridges alone do not determine humanness. This is well illustrated by an online photo of seven skulls in a row: only one has no browridges. All the others do, including a Neanderthal, a member of H. erectus, two Australopithecus, a gorilla, and a chimpanzee. One ape missing from this lineup is the orangutan like humans, these lack prominent browridges .
Neanderthal Museum Exhibit Pre
âFrom his bestial 19th-century persona to just another guy in a suit, Neanderthals have been pigeonholed according to the times.â*
* Rick Gore, âThe Dawn of Humans: Neandertals,â National Geographic, vol. 189:1 , p. 32â33. The quote is Goreâs words in his caption for the picture. In the article, Gore uses both spellings for this man. A 1983 version and a 1909 version of the Neanderthals are pictured.
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Christian Responses To The Spiritual And Physical Status Of Neanderthals
The physical and spiritual status of Neanderthals has been hotly debated since the first fossilize of bones were described from Neander Valley in Germany in 1856. Since that time bones from more than 400 Neanderthal individuals have been recovered over a large geographical range . Hundreds of published studies on these bones, artifacts such as tools, habitations, and possible artwork and now DNA have given us a clearer picture of the physical and cultural capacities of these hominids.
For evangelical Christians questions about Neanderthals go far beyond their physical similarities. Rather it is their spiritual status that is of great interest. Are Neanderthals part of the headwaters of the human race or do they fall outside the bounds of those made in Gods image? How do Neanderthals fit into fundamental doctrines of original sin and debate over the historicity of Adam?
The answers to these questions from the Christian community have been confusing and contradictory to put it mildly. Some believe Neanderthals were fundamentally no different from any group of people alive today. Others believe them to be a separate species with no relationship with modern humans and thus devoid of the image of God. It is not surprising that given these opposing responses from theologians and lay Christian leaders that many Christians are confused about how to think about Neanderthals.
Did Neanderthal and Modern Humans Interbreed?
Evangelical Approaches to Neanderthals
Two Sides Of The Coin Faith At The Neanderthal Museum
From chemistry, we can learn about the interactions of fundamental chemical elements. From biology we can learn about cellular life and organismic relationships. But evolution as a scientific theory, offers something more. It offers a story about how life developed on Earth over long periods of time.
But does this evolutionary narrative pose a threat to the Christian faith? Some think so. Some Christians see the evolutionary narrative as conflicting with the Bible. When such conflict is clear , we must accept the Bible over evolutionary theory. But this conclusion is based on a faulty premisethe Bible and evolution offer conflicting accounts of the same story. But they arent. They are actually telling two different stories.
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Implications Of Distribution Of Worldwide Neanderthal Sites
The widely held creationist belief that the Neanderthals must have been one of a number of family groups that traveled outwards in all directions from Babel worked fine as long as most of the discovered Neanderthal sites were in Europe and the Middle East . This made sense, because it looked as if the Neanderthals were a nomadic family tribe that had headed northwest from Babel, split into groups, and settled in various places .
But the Neanderthal territory kept expanding . Neanderthals have been found as far east as southern Siberia, close to China , and down to the southern tip of Africa. Obviously they got around a lot more than had been previously thought. We see then that the very wide distribution of Neanderthals, as shown in Fig. 8, backs the idea that they were the people who dispersed in all directions from Babel, as Cuozzo believes. This also makes the Lubenow view of Neanderthals as a small variant group less likely.
A further look at Fig. 8 shows not only where Neanderthals have been found, but also where they have not been found. There are no Neanderthal sites in North or South America, Greenland or Australia. The question is, why not?
The Spread Of Humans From Babel: Map 1 And Map 2
Map 1: The earliest human fossils are found in regions around Babel.They are similar in appearance, often labeled .Map 2: By the middle of the Ice Age, families werescattered across Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Fossils and stone tools in East Africa and Central Asia have been dated from the same general time period. In fact, these fossils are so close in time that experts debate which came first. Specifically, human fossils were discovered in the mountainous region north of Babel and appear to be as old as anything found in East Africa.
These human fossilsand their stone toolsare strikingly similar everywhere they are found in the Lower and Middle Pleistocene layers . These people had large brow ridges, small chins, and receding foreheads. Although experts sometimes give the fossils different names in different regions, they recognize the similarities and agree they could be called by one name.
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Implications Of Long Neanderthal Lifespan
As noted earlier, Cuozzo showed by his X-ray studies of Neanderthal skulls that these were people who must have lived for hundreds of years . Not only that, his computerized modeling of skull changes with age predicted development of exactly the kind of characteristics that these Neanderthal skulls displayed . This meant that there had to have been some very, very old people somewhere in our history.
Of course, we dont have to look very hard to find extraordinarily long-lived people, because they are in plain view in the early historical Genesis accounts. Between Creation and the Flood, there were people like Adam who lived 930 years and Methuselah who lived 969 years, to pick two examples out of the genealogy of Genesis 5. Noah lived 950 years in all, 600 before the Flood and 350 after it . Lifespans were still quite long for some time after the Flood generations of people after Noah lived for hundreds of years . If we accept the Bible literally, we have to believe that these people actually lived that long.
. . . I do not wish to imply that Abraham or his ancestors . . . were Neandertals. What the relationship wasif anybetween the people of Genesis and the Neandertals we do not know .
Cuozzo would beg to disagree with that.
Neanderthals At The Same Museum Post
Uniesert, Creative Commons, Wikipedia
From a collection of modern human skulls Huxley was able to select a series with features leading âby insensible gradationsâ from an average modern specimen to the Neanderthal skull. In other words, it wasnât qualitatively different from present-day .
What Huxley discovered 150 years agoâgradations from Neanderthals to modern humansâis also clearly seen in the fossil record today. We are not referring to an evolutionary transition from earlier Neanderthals to later modern humans. We are referring to morphological gradations between Neanderthals and modern humans both living at the same time as contemporaries and representing a single human population.
Whereas evolutionists have chosen to divide these Europeans into two categoriesâNeanderthals and anatomically modern âthe individual fossils do not fit into those categories. There is a wide range of variation among modern humans, and there is also much variation within the Neanderthal category. A number of fossils in each group are very close to a subjective line that divides the two groups. The placement of that line is dependent upon the individual paleoanthropologist making the assessment. Since these fossil individuals could be categorized either way, they constitute a seamless gradation between Neanderthals and modern humans. They demonstrate that the distinction made by evolutionists is an artificial one.
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The Root Of The Disagreement: Cuozzo Versus Lubenow
Currently, the most widely accepted creationist view of the Neanderthals is that they were very early nomadic humans, probably one of the tribes that departed from Babel in the dispersion . Their unique skull characteristics were possibly the result of family genetic traits and/or poor diet and lack of sunshine during the Ice Age, or perhaps disease. This is essentially the view of the Neanderthals that is described by Marvin Lubenow in his influential book, Bones of Contention , as well as in various articles . Lubenow, theologian and anthropologist, had been studying fossils for many years and his conclusions seemed solid enough creationist writers have been quite willing to subscribe to his ideas .
But creationists were not totally unanimous in following the party line on Neanderthals. Maverick Jack Cuozzo, an orthodontist, had been studying Neanderthal skulls, and had authored some papers . He then published his scientific research in a book on Neanderthals, Buried Alive! and presented a paper on computer projections of human skull changes with age at the International Conference on Creationism that same year .
Creationists as a whole did not seem to have answers for all these questions.
Fossil Record Of The Human Family
The earliest human remains are found in Ice Age deposits near Babel.By the middle of the Ice Age, however, human remains were scatteredover three continents. New variations eventually appeared in differentregions, such as Neanderthals in Europe. But by the end of the IceAge, most of these variations disappeared. It is only at this late stagein the Ice Age that we find human remains in the Americas.
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Neanderthals And Modern Humans Were An Integrated Population
The âclassicâ Neanderthal differs somewhat from the typical modern humanâthe Neanderthal skull is a bit flatter and elongated, the chin is rounder, and the skeleton is more robust. However, there is much overlap. In fact, there should never have been a question about Neanderthalâs status in the human family. When the first Neanderthal was discovered in 1856, even âDarwinâs bulldog,â Thomas Huxley, recognized that it was fully human and not an evolutionary ancestor. Donald Johanson, who discovered the famous fossil Lucy writes,